Jim Sheridan | Burlington Real Estate, Billerica Real Estate, Reading Real Estate


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Did you know people are generally happier when they have something to nurture and tend to in life? That’s right. Taking care of plants can make you a happier person and improves your sense of well-being, which in and of itself might be motivation enough to start an indoor garden. If you need more proof that now is the time to try indoor gardening, consider the following benefits of the practice:

Benefits of Indoor Gardening: Why Start Today

Improves Your Air Quality

You likely already know the biological breakdown of the way plants produce oxygen. We won’t get too deep into the weeds with that. However, it’s worth noting that plants effectively absorb trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene, while producing fresh, life-sustaining oxygen. This means your air quality will improve simply by having plants growing indoors.

Provides You Food

Another important benefit of an indoor garden is the food it can produce. You can grow herbs and vegetables, which will be right on hand at any point. Let’s face it, veggies and herbs can get pricey when buying them at the store or farmer’s market. If you have your own supply, you will not only have fresh, succulent foods at your fingertips, but you will save money as well. It’s also pretty neat to pull a leaf off a nearby herb plant to add to your pasta sauce or to spice up another dish you are working on. There is no better taste than fresh herbs in a homemade dish.

It’s Educational

Having a richly producing indoor garden can be a bit of a learning experience. After all, different plants thrive with varying combinations of water and indirect or direct sunlight. This means to successfully get your plants to grow, you have to learn a bit about what they require to thrive, which is an educational process and a fun challenge.

Plants Absorb Background Noises

Your home should be a sanctuary of sorts, blocking out all outside noises and stresses. What if your house itself is loud, though? How do you create the zen environment you want if your house is full of noise? An indoor garden is one solution. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because studies have proven that plant's leaves effectively absorb, reflect and diffract noise. This means a noisy space becomes less clamorous and more peaceful, simply from having plants inside.

They Are Attractive

Finally, having an indoor garden is pleasant to look at. Depending on the type of garden you have, you might enjoy plants that flower or bloom in attractive manners. Even if you plants are all green, they can be pretty to look at and provide interest to a space. For example, an indoor garden is a great way to furnish a sunroom or patio or to add some life to a dreary indoor room.

Indoor gardens have many benefits as you have seen outlined above. If you have ever considered trying your hand at indoor gardening, use this information as motivation to give it a whirl!


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Outdoor garden structures can provide you with seating, shade and even a bit of shelter from the rain, depending on which type you choose. Although these structures serve a practical purpose, they’re available in a wide range of decorative styles and designs that can enhance your garden’s appearance. How do you know which type would work best for your property? Keep the following in mind when deciding on an outdoor garden structure.

Arbor 

Arbors act as entrances between different garden areas or entrances to your garden from your yard. These structures typically have an arch at the top and trellis walls that vines can grow on. While they have a relatively simple design compared to other garden structures, you can make them more elaborate with an intricate design, flowering vines or seating areas. In fact, you can set up a vertical garden with trumpet vines or other vines using your arbor. 

An arbor is an ideal option if you just want to set up a small structure with seating or if you want to highlight entrances to your garden or to different garden areas. 

Gazebo

Gazebos offer more space and shelter than arbors. Since they’re larger, these structures work well in between garden areas if enough room is available. They can also be placed closer to the edge of your garden or just outside of it, so that you still have a good view of your flowers, plants and trees. 

A gazebo typically has a roof, a floor, open sides and seating in a polygon or rounded shape. You can have built-in benches placed along the inner sides of your gazebo, or place your own luxurious chairs inside it for seating. Gazebos are a good option if you need a structure that holds more people and provides some shelter from rain overhead. 

Pergola 

Pergolas are outdoor garden structures that can be freestanding or built onto the side of your home, depending on the layout of your yard. These structures don’t have a roof, but they do have a series of beams that provide shade. Pergolas are known for having ornamental designs or cuts on the roof beams and on the columns that hold these structures in place. You can also add grapevines or other plants to the beams for decorative purposes and to add more shade.

With a larger pergola, you can add a table and chairs for dining, or have a porch swing and other seating installed. Pergolas are suitable options when you want a spacious and more open structure that still offers shade.


Gardens can be quite difficult to maintain sometime with so many things that can go wrong. The weather is a primary factor; there will be slugs when it's wet, greenfly when it's dry, frost damage when it's cold and red spider mite when it's hot. So, both expert and novice gardeners can expect problems.

The big difference is that the expert knows what to look for and steps to take when there are garden troubles. Here are some ways to ensure a well-tended garden:

Pruning properly

It is necessary for guaranteeing fruit and flower production, but it is also crucial in the war against pests and diseases. Cut out dead wood. Remove overcrowded branches to provide adequate ventilation. 

Choose wisely when buying plants

Reject soft bulbs, lanky bedding plants, old seeds, unhealthy looking shrubs, and disease-ridden perennials.

Plan carefully

Make sure that the plant is suited to the site. Avoid sun lovers if the shade is a problem, avoid tender plants if the garden is exposed and prone to frost. Rotation of plants is essential for many vegetables so be sure to understand a plant’s nuances before choosing it.

Spray to prevent disease

Fungicides tend to be protectants rather than cures. So you should spray as soon as you see the rust spots. In some cases (e.g., black spot, peach leaf curl) you must spray before visible signs of the disease. 

Remove dead plants, rubbish, and weeds

Rotting plants can often be a source of infection, and some attract pests to the garden. Boxes, old flower pots, etc. are a breeding ground for slugs and woodlice. Weeds rob plants of food, water, light, and space. Hoe or pull them out - take care if you use a weedkiller.

Feed the plants regularly and adequately 

Shortages of nutrients can lead to many problems, weak growth, small blooms, lowered disease resistance and discolored leaves. But take care, overfeeding can cause scorch and unbalanced feeding with too much nitrogen can result in lots of leaves and few flowers.

Prepare the ground thoroughly

A strong-growing plant is more likely to withstand pest or disease attack than a weak specimen. Water logging due to insufficient soil preparation is the underlying cause of failure in heavy soils. Add a humus maker when digging. Remove perennial weed roots. Add suitable chemicals to the earth if pests have gnawed roots elsewhere in the garden. 

Talk to a landscaping company in your area for more gardening tips today.


If you've ever walked down the garden section of The Home Depot and were amazed at the amount of garden tools you're not alone. For such a simple pastime, gardening has become increasingly complex in recent decades. From small, gas-powered cultivators to electric grass shears, the tranquil art of gardening has been commercialized with all of the latest technology. If you're just keeping a small flower or vegetable garden, there's no need for all the gadgetry. Our ancestors made due for thousands of years with simple tools. Here are the five utilitarian tools that will prove useful in your garden today.

1. The Spade

Let's start with the basics. Every gardener needs a spade. You'll use them when the ice melts to till the soil, you'll use it in early spring to dig holes for your plants, and you'll reach for it in the fall when you're cleaning up after the harvest. A good long-handled spade will last years, require zero maintenance if you keep it out of the rain, and help you multitask in the garden.

2. The Trowel

Like its big brother, the spade, the trowel is also going to help with tasks like digging and mixing soil. But a trowel's small size allows you to work up-close with the delicate plants in your garden. The trowel helps you shape the rows and sculpt the finer details of your garden.

3. The Rake

There are rakes for every purpose.  But for our purposes you can get away with having two for your garden: one leaf rake and either a hand or bow rake. If you're the type to kneel down in the dirt and work closely with your plants and soil, go with the hand rake. If you don't want to do a lot of bending and kneeling a long-handled bow rake is your best bet. Once you've tilled the soil in your garden with a spade, you'll want to rake it even and break up large clumps of dirt with the bow rake. Then throughout the season you can use the leaf rake to clean up debris from plants, nearby trees, and so on.

4. The Shears

Gardening isn't just a matter of putting plants in the ground and watching them grow. For a garden to flourish you'll need to take care of your plants, pruning dead leafs. Some gardeners even prune the first buds of certain vegetable plants to allow the plants more time to grow before they start devoting resources to producing fruit. Good garden shears must be taken care of. Clean them after use, oil the pivot area, and sharpen them once per year to keep them in good working condition.

5. The Watering Can

All would be for naught if it weren't for the watering can. It may seem like an item you don't need to put much thought into. But there are certain things you should look for in a watering can. Firstly, the can should strain water into small streams when you pour it out. This allows you to cover the soil evenly and to avoid dumping a heavy stream of water onto delicate plants. You should also be sure to pick a can that's both big and sturdy. Know your limits; if you don't think you're up to carrying 3-5 gallons of water for prolonged periods go with something smaller and elect to take more trips to the tap.   These five time-tested tools are all you need to keep a healthy garden.  



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